Newton Forster eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 501 pages of information about Newton Forster.

“Why, what was it as made her mad—­d’ye know, Tom?”

“They say she’s been no better all her life,” replied the other; “a rat would not live in the house with her:  at last, in one of her tantrums, she nearly murdered old Spinney, the clerk at Overton.  The report went out that he was dead; and conscience, I suppose, or summut of that kind, run away with her senses.”

“Oh, he warn’t killed then?”

“No, no:  I seed him and heard him too, Sunday ’fore last, when I went to call upon old father; I was obligated to go to church, the old gemman’s so remarkable particular.”

“And what’s become of her husband, and that handsome young chap, her son?”

“I don’t know, nor nobody else either.  The old man, who was as worthy an old soul as ever breathed (more shame to the old faggot, for the life she led him!) grew very unhappy and melancholy, and would not stay in the place:  they disposed of everything, and both went away together; but nobody knows where the old man is gone to.”

“And the young ’un?”

“Oh, he came back and took command of the sloop.  He was here twice, to see how his mother was.  Poor lad! it was quite pitiful to see how unhappy he was about the old catamaran.  He give me and Bill a guinea apiece to be kind to her; but, about three days back, the sloop came into the harbour without him:  they suppose that he fell off the jetty at Bristol and was drowned, for he was seen coming down to the boat; and, a’ter that, they never heard no more about him.”

“Well, but Tom, the old woman’s all right now?”

“Yes, she’s right enough; but where be her husband, and where be her son? she’ll never plague them any more, that’s pretty sartain.”

The feelings of Mrs Forster at the finale of this discourse are not easy to be portrayed.  One heavy load was off her mind—­Mr Spinney was not dead; but how much had she also to lament?  She perceived that she had been treacherously kidnapped by those who detested her conduct, but had no right to inflict the punishment.  The kind and feeling conduct of her husband and of her son,—­the departure of the one, and supposed death of the other, were blows which nearly overwhelmed her.  She tottered back to her cell in a state of such extreme agitation, as to occasion a return of fever, and for many days she was unable to quit her bed.

Chapter X

          “When Britain first at Heaven’s command
  Arose from out the azure main,
  This was the charter, the charter of the land,
  And guardian angels sung the strain,——­
  Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves,
  For Britons never shall be slaves.”

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Newton Forster from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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